1) There will be transparency in the law-making process. For the past month, the Senate Finance Committee has been debating health care. But, much to the surprise of many Americans, they havent been debating an actual bill. They have been debating and amending a 262-page description of health care reform. Its essentially a summary of what liberals want the bill to look like, and no member of the Committee, or the public, has seen actual legislation. The legislation will likely not be available until the bill is debated on the floor.
2) The bill won’t add a dime to the deficit. Since the Senate bill is yet to be written, there are no official cost estimates. However, initial estimates of a description of the bill (which is what the Finance Committee has been debating) by the Congressional Budget Office indicate the gross cost will be $829 billion. Independent analysis by The Lewin Group, a highly respected health care policy and management consulting firm, expects the House bill to run a $39 billion deficit in the first decade, and a $1 trillion deficit in the second decade.
3) If you like the coverage you have you can keep it. Liberals in Congress continue to demand the inclusion of a public plan, a new government run health plan to compete against private health insurance plans. The Lewin Group calculated the impact the House bills public plan would have on existing health insurance coverage. It found with a public plan:
- 56 percent of Americans with employer-based coverage would lose their current coverage with the addition of a public plan.
- Of the estimated 172.5 million people with private health insurance, there would be a decline of 83.4 million people with private coverage.
- 34 percent of the uninsured in America would still lack coverage.
4) The bill won’t cut benefits for seniors. It is impossible to cut payments to Medicare Advantage plans without cutting benefits. The Congressional Budget Office director testified that Medicare benefits will be cut, meaning seniors’ private options for their health care needs are at risk.
5) The bill won’t raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000. Provisions in the House and Senate bill would lead to a tax increase regardless of income. In fact, of the folks hit by the Houses plans steep tax hikes, more than half fall in the bottom 60 percent of the income scale. Small businesses and low-income workers would be especially hit. In the Senate Finance Committee, amendments were offered that would have protected those below $250,000, and each one failed.
6) It will save American families $2500 a year. There has been no analysis to show that these bills would deliver these promised savings. In fact, mandates in the current bills would have the opposite effect, forcing many individuals to pay more money out-of-pocket, and compelling businesses to reduce wages, salaries, and job opportunities.
7) The government plan won’t cover abortions or illegal immigrants. Amendments were offered in the House and Senate Committee mark-ups to clarify that abortion services would not be included and to ensure proper identification of citizenship were used in determining eligibility. Each of these amendments failed.